‘Blatantly anti-Semitic litmus test’: Lawmakers blast Democratic Socialists for requiring pledge not to visit Israel

Dozens of state legislators slam Democratic Socialists of America for ‘blatantly anti-Semitic litmus test’ for New York City Council candidates.

By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner

Dozens of members of the New York State Assembly have condemned the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for issuing what they called a “blatantly anti-Semitic litmus test” to prospective City Council candidates.

The DSA’s questionnaire to candidates included the line, “Do you pledge not to travel to Israel if elected to City Council in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation?”

“Even though foreign policy falls outside the purview of municipal government, gestures like travel to a country by elected officials from a city the size and prominence of New York still send a powerful message, as would the refusal to participate in them,” the questionnaire added.

The next question was an aggressive near-endorsement of the antisemitic BDS campaign, reading, “Do you support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement? If not, why?”

NYC-DSA Statement on NYC Council Members participating in state-sponsored trips to Israel: pic.twitter.com/0RQ9gAtrgI

— NYC-DSA 🌹#DefundNYPD (@nycDSA) August 14, 2020

The assembly members said of the DSA questionnaire, “This blatantly anti-Semitic litmus test is abhorrent. Singling out the only Jewish state — a strong democracy in the region, where women’s rights, freedom of speech, and religious freedom are protected — is detestable.”

“The DSA’s position cannot be rationalized,” they added. “It is offensive, antisemitic, and dangerous, particularly at a time when antisemitism is on the rise in the United States and in the New York area.”

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“No political organization that embeds antisemitism into its platform should be welcome in the halls of our legislature,” they concluded.